Living a life less toxic…

by Faith Canter


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Alkalising & Meetup Planning

Hello all, here I am again!

This week has been a bit of a fact-finding one, so I thought I’d share some of my findings and some of my plans with you all.

I have been reading a number of books and websites recently on alkalising one’s body, the effects of an acidic body (a body more prone to ill health and disease) on general health and well-being, and on the benefits of being more alkalised (a healthier body in a more healing state).  It seems that in the modern world most people are acidic, which leads to a many health issues (ranging from stomach complaints, candida, fatigue and skin conditions, to diabetes, depression and headaches), as well as hampering healing and weight loss.  If you’re one of those people that’s constantly trying rather unsuccessfully to lose weight it could be due to the acidity levels in your body.

Indeed almost all of the clients I see are highly acidic and once they start to get this under control (by addressing diet and supporting their mind), the difference in them is noticeable inside and out.  Health issues they either never mentioned at all or thought were nothing to do with what they were coming to see me for clear up, as well as the ones they did come about, and energy levels and general well-being noticeably increase.

In this day and age becoming alkalised rather than acidic isn’t an easy feat, but there are many things you can do fairly easily to prevent yourself from becoming more acidic, and even lower the acidity levels within your body.

Most of you won’t be surprised with the things that make you more acidic (but here goes anyway):

Caffeine, sugars, alcohol, not drinking enough water, stress and anxiety, processed foods, yeasts (including mushrooms and vinegar until you are more alkalised), most white foods (like white potatoes, sugar, bread, pasta, rice), fruit in general (until you are in an alkaline state), over-consumption of carbohydrates, red meats, chemicals on food and in home and skincare products, some medications, tomatoes (if cooked – raw is okay), microwaved food, artificial sweeteners and herbicides, pesticides, hormones and additives on and in food stuffs.

Then the things that help to make you more alkaline:

Ginger (a couple of slices in hot water is a great alkalising tea), lemon, lime, dealing with underlying and daily stresses and anxieties (through EFT, Flower Remedies, Meditation, Relaxation & other such therapies and treatments), drinking lots and lots of fresh still alkalised water (use lemon, lime, Bicarb or pH drops to do this – this will be a major help!), eating plenty of vegetables (greener, riper and rawer the better, so smoothies, juices and raw food meals are great), eating a varied and healthy diet, making sure you eat regularly and do not eat and drink any of the items in the list above, spirulina (blue-green algae), wheat grass (and other grasses), sprouted seeds, flax-seeds (grind down where possible), seaweed, reducing the amount of white meat, fish and dairy you eat unless they’re all organic, taking a daily natural (wheat and dairy free) probiotic and eating organic vegetables.

You can buy little pH testing strips online for not very much money, so you can track how acidic you are now and then after you start making changes.  Becoming more alkalised can have huge positive effects on your physical and mental health – it’s soooo worth doing!

A great book to help you with this journey is – The pH Miracle, Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health by Dr Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young.

Raw food (as mentioned above), especially low sugar raw food is excellent for helping the body to become more alkalised and with this in mind I have just scheduled in a Mini Raw Food Workshop for Wednesday 11th September 18.30 – 21.30, £15.00.  If you’re interested in coming please let me know ASAP as there are limited spaces.  The below item is one of my all time favourites, it’s raw un-fried rice and this is one of the items I’ll be teaching people to make on the evening. https://www.facebook.com/events/612242638806011/

 

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I’ll also be showing people how to make an additional two dishes and explaining about soaking nuts and seeds and how to use the bad-boy that is my dehydrator (below) to create some amazing, healthy and yummy dishes.

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One other thing I simply must share that’s alkalising (as well as highly nutritious and full of iodine – which helps the thyroid among other things) and one of my favourite ingredients at the moment is seaweed – especially my seaweed shaker, as I can use this like dried herbs on just about anything and everything (including in your bath).  I get mine from Real Foods, but you might be able to pick them up elsewhere.

So as well as doing a fair bit of research I’ve also scheduled a few Meetups for the Let’s Make This World A Better Place group.

Here’s a little diary of up and coming events (for more info click the link below each item):

Plastic Free Picnic – Tuesday 30th July

http://www.meetup.com/Lets-Make-This-World-A-Better-Place/events/126981922/

Super Organic Me Fringe Comedy – Friday 9th August

http://www.meetup.com/Lets-Make-This-World-A-Better-Place/events/129900962/

Trip to the Eco Earthship – Saturday 17th August

http://www.meetup.com/Lets-Make-This-World-A-Better-Place/events/121281572/

Beach Clean-Up – Saturday 24th August (Please share this event with as many people as possible, as the more hands the better)

http://www.meetup.com/Lets-Make-This-World-A-Better-Place/events/130968462/

https://www.facebook.com/events/213455335478868/

The Psychology of Meditation Projection – Thursday 12th September

http://www.meetup.com/Lets-Make-This-World-A-Better-Place/events/130642442/

 

So the following paragraph is something I’ve been looking into and I hope you’ll consider this when buying your next duvet, pillow or jacket and that’s where and how the feathers for these items come from:

I’ve recently discovered, (or should I say, opened my eyes and mind to something I should have thought of before) that down feathers used for items such as pillows, duvets and jackets are pulled from (usually already badly treated) birds whilst they are still alive.  They often remove the outers feathers first (if they haven’t shed these) to get to the down feathers underneath and then remove these as well.  I have always daftly assumed these birds were already dead when plucked, but this just isn’t the case.

Here’s a more detailed link about this (but please don’t open it if you’re squeemish)-

http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_cruelty/downandfeathers.htm

 

To finish on a more positive note I thought I’d share with you a picture of my Fig & Honey soap.  Now that’s it’s rested for the last 6 weeks it’s ready to use and is so lovely, soft and silky, as well as being natural, palm-oil free and environmentally friendly! =0)

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So I think I’ve said enough for this week, have a lovely weekend everyone and I hope you enjoyed reading this blog, I’m off the ride the Harry Potter train (aka the Jacobite)! =0)


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Mind, Body & The Economics of Happiness

Well, where do I begin?

I’ve had such a lovely week, which started off last weekend with 3 days at Samye Ling (http://www.samyeling.org/) Buddhist Monastery down in the Borders.  I completed module one of a year-long Mindfulness course with the Mindfulness Association whilst there.

 

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The course was great and it really helped point me in the right direction with my daily meditation practice.  I’ve lost focus with it all a little bit recently, so this really helped and also it built on what I was already doing and took it a few steps further by teaching me to be more mindful in my general daily life and not just whilst I’m meditating.

And of course the weather was amazing whilst I was there, so that meant in my spare time I got to tour the grounds, go for a paddle,

 

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go for a walk, chat to some really lovely like-minded people and sit in contemplation near the lake and river.

 

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I came away feeling re-charged, happy, healthy, settled and inspired.

If you haven’t been before I highly recommend you go.  You don’t have to do a course there, you can just go for a day trip or stay overnight as a guest. Whichever way you choose you won’t be disappointed!

Mindfulness itself can benefit anyone and everyone, in so many different ways.  We are so busy, stressed, anxious, tired and always trying to multi-task, whilst never quite focusing on any one thing, especially what’s right in front of us.  We live in the past and the future but not in the now, this leads to all sorts of problems both mental and physical and mindfulness helps us address this. This means we become less stressed, less pressured, kinder to ourselves and in turn more focused, clear headed and happy in ourselves and with ourselves.

Try to be more mindful of what you’re doing today (really notice yourself washing-up or brushing your teeth instead of thinking about hundreds of other things instead), maybe try a 5 min online daily guided meditation and see how these little things make such a difference to your state of mind. Go on, give it ago!

 

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I was also really pleased to hold another Meetup event this week (http://www.meetup.com/Lets-Make-This-World-A-Better-Place/events/119846232/).  At this Meetup we watched the documentary ‘The Economic’s of Happiness’, which promotes localisation instead of globalisation.  It’s a super documentary and makes so much sense.  My wish is that we would all live a little more like this as it’s not only better for the environment but it’s been shown to be better for our own development and happiness as well.

We had a great chat after the documentary had finished, and really put the world to rights, along with coming up with several ideas of things we could do and look into, which kept my happy buzz from the weekend before continuing nicely! =0)

 

So apart from seeing some lovely clients, starting to sort out my garden (which is looking amazing by the way, ha) and realising the handmade natural and palm-oil free soap that me and my partner-in-crime, Lucy, made just over 6 weeks ago it now ready to use that’s pretty much me for this week.

Oh, there is one more thing…….

They had peacocks at Samye Ling and anyone that knows me knows how much I love peacocks!  On top of everything else the weekend held this was most certainly the icing on the Samye Ling cake (although I’m note sure the peacocks would agree after being stalked by a Faith-shaped human with a camera in tow half the weekend)!

 

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Oh, go on then, just one more……….

 

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Have a wonderful week everyone and if you’re ever at a lose end and fancy coming along to any of our Meetups you’re more than welcome!

http://www.meetup.com/Lets-Make-This-World-A-Better-Place/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lets-Make-This-World-A-Better-Place/645860645431054?fref=ts

Here’s one I just posted which nicely fits in with this week’s blog:

http://www.meetup.com/Lets-Make-This-World-A-Better-Place/events/130642442/


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Don’t Live Your Label; Give Yourself Credit & Natural Products

Well I feel I must begin this blog by saying how very pleased I am with this beautiful weather.  Every opportunity I’ve had I’ve been out in the sun soaking up some Vitamin D.  It’s recharging my batteries.  I have even taken my laptop out to the garden to write this week’s blog!

I’ve had a tiring but very good week.  My mind is buzzing with new ideas and projects and I’ve even managed to complete a few of the old ones as well.  So I’m pretty pleased with myself really.

Those of you that know me know I’ve fought a battle with ME/CFS in recent years and to be honest my health wasn’t that great even before this came along.

Even though last month I managed to climb my first ever Munro (Scottish Mountain), as my health has improved that much, I’ve found that there still seems to be some traces of the ME/CFS hanging around.  I’ve done a lot of work on my body and mind of the last few years, which is why I’m back to about 95% health, but that last bit won’t (very frustratingly) budge.

However this last week I’ve had an epiphany!  I’ve realised even though I know I’m 95% better I’m still allowing myself to be the ME/CFS label and still think of myself this way.  What I mean by this is that I still think of myself as muddled, confused, brain fogged, headachy and easily tired (although much better on all counts than before).  This week I have been making a conscious effort to not think this way and I’m sure this is helping already.  Rather that looking for and talking about myself in this way, I am making changes, I am not allowing my body and mind to stay under this label any more, I am putting my foot down!

The other thing I’ve realised I don’t do is give myself credit when I have completed something, helped someone, had a good idea or am working on something good.  This is a fundamental flaw in many of us, we really don’t appreciate ourselves.  We are all beautiful, amazing beings and instead of embracing this we constantly put ourselves down, are negative about ourselves and basically bitch about ourselves.  This is not healthy and can be the cause of many health issues, it can also prevent healing and reinforces negative pathways within the brain.  So every day I’ve been praising myself for my accomplishments, big and small.  I’ve also been doing the same task I set a dear friend last week and that’s listing 30 things each day you’re grateful for.  It really does make a difference as it gets you out of the negative cycle of your thoughts of always finding fault with things and, of course, makes you realise how many amazing things you have to be grateful for.  Give it ago and see what you think….

One last thing I am trialling is called Mindmaster.  It’s a program you download to your computer and then pick the topics you want to work on and it flashes images and words up on your computer screen whilst you working.  These apparently have a positive effect on the subconscious mind and help reprogram it to do what you require of it.  It’s free for 14 days so we’ll see how I get on with it. =0) http://www.mindmaster.tv/

I was wondering how everyone else was getting on with Plastic Free July  Have you made any changes, are you more aware of what you’re buying, using and throwing away?  I’m really pleased that by doing away with bin bags we are now recycling and re-using even more than before (which I didn’t think was possible) and our normal house hold wheelie bin has hardly anything in it.  So not only have we reduced the amount of plastic we are using but we have also reduced the amount of waste going into landfill.

My last blog finished with me mentioning about the Natural Home & Skin Care Products Workshop I was about to hold last weekend, so I thought I’d just tell you a little bit about how that went.

We made Bath Melters (mini bath bombs), an all purpose Balm, Bath Salts, Carpet Deodoriser, a Room/Body Spray and a general Household Cleaner (these were all natural, environmentally friendly and palm-oil free products).  Image

We had a nice big raw food lunch, which seemed to go down well and everyone said they were full, but not the bloated type of full you get from eating too much cooked food.  Image

And I REALLY enjoyed the day, it was such a lovely group of people that attended, we nattered and put the world to rights about so many topics and everyone got to take away all the things they’d made.  To say I was buzzing at the end of the day would be an understatement!  Can’t wait to arrange the next one now, watch this space!

One of the things that everyone always seems surprised about is how easy and cheap it is to make all the natural products, especially when shops charge a small fortune for you to by anything environmentally friendly from them.  So I thought I’d share with you one of the easiest things you can make yourself and that’s an all purpose household cleaner.

1. Wash out any old empty spray bottle you have at home.

2. Add 1/3 white wine vinegar and 2/3 filtered water (leaving about 1/2 cm spare in the top of the bottle).

3. Squeeze in a whole lemon or lime (making sure only the juice goes in).

4. Add 20/25 drops of essential oils (either lemon, lime, tea-tree, lavender, grapefruit, pine or a mixture of these as there all good cleaning oils).

5. Put the top on the bottle and shake and there you have it!

Make sure to give it a quick shake before you use it each time, as it separates out otherwise.  This is great at cleaning, floors, windows, kitchens, you name it, it will clean it and much better than almost all chemically cleaners you buy from the supermarket.  I would just be careful about using it around baths, where there is a seal as sometimes the vinegar can eat away at this area.

So anyway I best be off and get myself ready for my weekend Mindfulness Retreat down in the Borders at the Samye Ling Buddhist Monastery.  Tell you all about this in the next Blog!

For anyone that’s interested in any ‘Let’s’ events coming up, please check out the Meetup page: http://www.meetup.com/Lets-Make-This-World-A-Better-Place/


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Plastic, Workshops, Raw Food and Magic Treatments……

So it’s plastic-free July and I’ve been trying to do my best to not only cut down on the amount of plastic we use during  July, but for it to have a more permanent impact on our plastic usage.  This has taken some thinking about and a bit of research, but I feel we’re making progress.

As we already recycle everything possible I felt like we were already doing ‘our bit’, but after researching this, it becomes apparent this isn’t the case.  If we can reduce things being produced in the first place and then the possibility of some of these things being littered (wildlife and/or seas) or going to landfill (not by use by the way, but in general) is greatly reduced!

So this is what’s changed so far:

1. I now have a tin water bottle I carry around with me rather than buying plastic bottled water when I’m out and about and thirsty.

2. We’ve have done away completely with bin-bags.  As we recycle everything and no food waste goes into the bins there’s no need for them, so now all the bins in the house just get emptied straight into the big wheelie bin outside, without the plastic-bag middle man.

3. We now have biodegradable dog pooh bags, which surprisingly were pretty reasonably priced.  (I’ve heard recently that there are some people in favour of the stick and flick method rather than using plastic bags, but this isn’t for me and doesn’t really solve the dog pooh issue, but just moves it from a path to a more overgrown area).

4. If we forget to take the shopping bags with us shopping we don’t pick up carrier bags – we put the shopping back into the trolley or basket and then bag it up at the car instead. (I read this tip recently and wondered why I’d never thought of this simple solution before).

5. We’ve been re-using plastic spray bottles and filling them with natural cleaning products, that I have been making to use around the house.

6. Lastly (apart from writing this blog) I have arranged a Plastic Free Picnic through my Meetup group to demonstrate how easy it can be to reduce plastic usage as well as making everyone aware how much plastic they are using and to have fun and food whilst doing this – http://www.meetup.com/Lets-Make-This-World-A-Better-Place/events/126981922/better (2)

Anyone that knows me, knows I’m a bit of a keyboard activist, which is why I set up the Facebook page and Meetup group, so I could continue to raise awareness of things like our over use and over disposal of plastics and also my pet gripe at the moment, our use of palm oil and the deforestation caused by it.  I hope not only to raise awareness through these pages and groups online but also face-to-face now through events and meetups and get other people involved.  I’m really excited about some of the events we have coming up, which range from watching documentaries together and discussing what we can do to change these things, to beach clean-ups and a visit to Fife Eco-Earthship project.

 

Tomorrow I will be hosting my first Natural Home & Skin Care Products Workshop, which ties my business as a holistic and nutritional practitioner in with my love of the environment and the ‘Let’s’ page and group.  I will be showing people how to be less toxic to their bodies, their homes, and then this in turn will help reduce the toxic waste being dumped into our seas, rivers and the land as well as cutting down on unnecessary products and packaging.

This follows on from some homemade natural soap making me and my friend have been doing recently also.  We wanted to find an alternative to normal soap, as it seems even a lot of the natural/eco soaps appear to have palm oil in them.

This was us on out first attempt at making soap a little while ago. It seems really scary to start with but it’s actually fairly easy to do and, of course, really rewarding and much better for the environment. (Don’t we look attractive in our get-up? ha).  20130613_110340

My plan is to do some natural soap making workshops in the future also, once we’ve mastered the process.  This was out first attempt:

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It’s a bit rustic, but it still does the job! =0)

 

Whenever I do a workshop, no matter what it is I always offer a Raw Food lunch as this is another one of my many passions.  I’m not a complete raw foodist, but I eat a fair amount of it. It’s soooo yummy, so good for you and again it’s really rewarding.  I have just starting preparing the Raw Food buffet for tomorrow’s workshop and below is carrot and herb crackers and crsipy kale going into the dehydrator. We have a good selection of other yummy food in the buffet and in next week’s blog I might share with you the reaction it gets from tomorrow’s workshoppers! 20130704_133314

 

The last thing I got up to this week was going to a Kinesiology talk at the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre through another Meetup group called Healthy Living in the 21st Century- http://www.meetup.com/Healthy-Living-in-the-21st-Century/.  It was the group’s first event and was really super, the talk was really informative and I got to be a guinea-pig.  The lower back pain that I’d had again since the previous week went away almost instantly whilst I was being treated.  I am now extremely intrigued in this magic treatment and hope to train in it in the future as it seems like such a wonderful, simple and effective tool.  They basically use muscle testing to establish what’s wrong with the body and then balance the body out and switch on muscles that have switched themselves off.  It helps the body work correctly and in a balanced and healthy way, thus ridding us of many health issues we thought we were stuck with or had to put up with.

 

I’m constantly looking at ways I can minimise my impact on the planet, learning to live a less toxic life, with a less toxic mind and show others how to do the same.  I get a lot of joy from this and am always eager to learn new things, so if you have any suggestions on how to do this then I’d really welcome them below this blog as I believe sharing really is caring.

 

Whilst I’ve been researching Plastic Free ideas I came across some great sites and links, so here they are:

* Here is a simple and wonderful little educational video for kids (and adults, too) — from reducing excessive use of plastics to making healthy food choices and smart household purchases: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73sGgmZoMBQ&feature=player_embedded

*New charge for carrier bags next year: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jun/28/scotland-5p-carrier-bag-charge

*Make your own bin-liners: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfEX85V9n8w

*Message in the Waves documentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olUO47cGNgc

*Thin Ice documentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjYpi1CR_fw

I hope you’ve enjoyed this weeks mixed-bag of blog topics.  Have a wonderful weekend, Faith